Our latest series on the Detroit Lions roster continues with a comparison of the defensive tackle position from 2012 to 2013. Did the Lions improve at defensive tackle? Let's take a look.
The notable changes at defensive tackle for the Lions involved them swapping out Corey Williams for C.J. Mosley and losing Sammie Hill to the Tennessee Titans in free agency. This, along with the addition of versatile players like Jason Jones and Israel Idonije, has created some uncertainty over what the rotation at defensive tackle might look like in 2013 once you get beyond the top three.
Did they improve?
I expect Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley to both be better in 2013. I also think the versatility of Jones and Idonije will be extremely useful for this position. On paper, though, losing Williams and Hill and only gaining Mosley doesn't seem like an improvement. Losing Hill was especially a tough blow, and the fact that he got a three-year deal worth $11.4 million from the Titans says a lot about how good he was as a backup for the Lions.
What about compared to 2011?
It's more of the same when looking back to 2011. I could see the defensive tackles being better for the Lions this year simply because Suh and Fairley are so talented. On paper, though, it's tough to match a top four that included Suh, Fairley, Williams and Hill.
(Note: Players listed from 2011 and 2012 are based on the Lions' Week 1 roster in those seasons.)